Pony Thought of the Day: Is Everypony in this Town Crazy?

So, I’ve mentioned before that Fluttershy is the best portrayal I’ve ever seen of someone suffering from avoidant personality disorder, and Twilight Sparkle is, according to Spoilers Below’s comment on my “Lesson Zero” post, a pretty good depiction of an OCD sufferer, at least in that episode.

But this leads naturally to the question of the other ponies. Do any of them suffer from any recognizable mental disorders? And the answer is, well, no. Not really.

Pinkie Pie is the obvious choice, because (as I discussed at length in my “Party of One” post) she clearly has some serious issues. But as near as I can tell (not being a professional therapist by any means, not that any doctor worth their degree would be willing to diagnose a patient based on a single 20-minute recording) Pinkie’s issues don’t actually map onto any one known disorder. Either she’s got something new, she’s suffering from a complex combination of multiple disorders, or (most likely) the creators were just messing around and made her generically “crazy.”

The other ponies don’t seem to have any recognizable disorders either, at least nothing that approaches the “danger to self or others” criterion. So no, Twilight, you’re wrong: Everypony in this town is not crazy.

7 thoughts on “Pony Thought of the Day: Is Everypony in this Town Crazy?

  1. I was actually going to try and answer the question of Pinkie's psyche in a Persona crossover fanfic.

    (for those who don't know: in the Persona games, and particularly the anime based on said games, one of the things each character has to go through in the virtual world is facing their Shadow, everything they secretly don't like about themselves. And of course, when the Shadow starts talking, most of the characters invariably go into denial and shout, “You're not me!” or something along those lines, and then there's a thematic boss fight, which they have to win by accepting the Shadow)

    I had sort of a similar idea to your analysis of the difference between her remembering self and experiential self. I had a different explanation for her stunted memory, though. I diagnosed her with… well, with a disorder that I've spent eons browsing Wikipedia and cogsci articles trying to find a name for. It's something like PTSD flashbacks, only instead of a traumatic event that befell the sufferer, it's bad things they've done instead… but not major guilt-worthy things, I'm talking about the slightest screwup, the slightest hurt feeling, the slightest loss of dignity, all repeated endlessly. I viewed her need for constant validation as her only means of escape.

    (my evidence for this, incidentally, was those twitches she did in her crazy-scene in Party of One. Those may have been just cartoon jitters, but they looked remarkably like the tics that some people do to try and jolt themselves out of the bad memories)

    So, in the fic, once Pinkie's Shadow-Self shows up, before it even starts talking, Pinkie cuts it off by shouting that she's already heard everything it has to say, because it tells it to her over and over again every day. There's an epic speech that ends with, “So now, for once in your life, you are going to shut the hay up, and let me get a word in edgewise!” By which time her Shadow-Self has roughly the same expression as a disobedient animal does when Fluttershy uses the Stare, and the other ponies have backed nervously out of the chamber. There's a scene of the others discussing what they've heard, and then a few minutes later, Pinkie comes bouncing happily out like nothing is wrong.

    It just kinda came to me after watching the Persona 4 anime. I don't actually have any ideas for whatever else would happen in the fic. But it's my speculation on the nature of Pinkie's neurosis.

  2. This sounds like a fic I would enjoy. You should write it!

    (Of course, I know my Jung. By shouting down her Shadow, Pinkie has in fact once again failed to defeat it, because the Shadow can ONLY ever be defeated by accepting it and integrating it into oneself. But then again, that's our Pinkie.)

  3. I know I should, but I'm already taking far too long to update my current ongoing fic, AND I'm also drafting my next fic. I might make a post on a Fimfiction group asking for a collaborator, though.

    Oh, of course she didn't defeat it. In my version, she just doesn't think there's anything to defeat. It's already “won,” in that she already believes everything it could say about her, and she's mistaken its constant self-punishment for acceptance. The shouting match was a purely “mechanical” patch.

    Yeesh, this is getting really dark. Maybe for the second encounter, it should turn out that her next Shadow actually represents the positive aspects of her character, but she doesn't believe it. I take the Jungian model with a grain of salt, but that is another thing that fits.

  4. The Jungian model of psychology should be taken with a heaping mountain of salt when dealing with real people. In fact, you're probably best off ignoring it entirely.

    With fictional characters, on the other hand, it's a great way to achieve Mythic.

Leave a Reply